I have been awaiting the release of Iron Man 2 with much trepidation. To say I loved Iron Man 1 is an understatement I think Favreau knocked the proverbial ball out of the park with the first film, It was true to the source material and Robert Downey Jr was exceptional in the role of Tony Stark. I mean there have been other great comic book movies, but with due respect they all had something for lack of a better word 'wrong' with them. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight...wonderful films but Bale seriously needed a cough drop or something. Spiderman 1, great film, but terrible terrible Green Goblin suit. My point being directors usually get something wrong, they lose the plot in some way or another due to studio pressure or simply a poor understanding or disregard for the original source material. Iron man 1 seemed as good as a comic book film could get. But Iron Man 2...I was in truth probably expecting dare I say it, another...Spiderman 3!
Before watching the film on Wednesday I had naturally both heard and read a few non-spoilerish reviews. I heard it was good, but didn't match the tightness of the first film, I heard it tried too hard to be too much...I heard it spent too much time setting up the Avengers Universe. Basically I was slightly apprehensive about IM2
Gotta say I loved it. Yes it wasn't as tightly edited as the first but I consider that a sign of Favreau stretching his directorial muscles, he took chances, tried out new shots...expeimented with pacing and most importantly had fun with it. So well done Jon you have my vote of confidence and congratulations.
Robert Downey Jr is perfect for this role...He was simply fantastic. 5 star performance as usual.
Mickey Rourke....This guy is a serious method actor. I'm not sure how closely he stuck to the original script but I got the distinct feeling he dropped as many unnecessary lines as possible and it worked exceptionally well. Although his character is obviously an amalgamation of two separate villains from the Iron Man universe the gamble payed off and I believe the fans were treated to a villain in Rourke that closely rivals Heath Ledgers Joker.
Don Cheadle...what can I say. This guy exuded more class in the opening two seconds than Terrence Howard managed in all of Iron Man 1. Cheadle is great as Rhodey. Calm, collected, controlled. As in the comics Tony's complete opposite.
Im only going to say one thing about Sam Rockwell as Hammer, whats with the orange hands dude, is there an inside joke I'm not aware of or something...That guy had been tango'ed!
Scar Jo and Gwyneth Paltrow...definite tension there on and off screen I feel. Both provided very confident performances in their respective roles. I will say one thing. Paltrow has made the role of Pepper Potts her own, I think while any one could have been cast as Natalie Rushman/Natasha Romanoff it would be very difficult to find anyone to better Gwyneth's performance.
A couple last things I absolutely loved. The Mach V suitcase armour! Brilliant.
All the humour... there were plenty of laugh out loud moments I wasn't expecting.
The Captain America shield scene...
A couple of things I didn't like, however small.
Rhodey's first on screen flight in the soon-to-be War-Machine armour was just too easy, I would have like to have seen him struggle a bit on take off. If they were eluding to the fact that the suit was in-fact being developed for him and that Rhodey had recieved prior training it could have been more obvious, maybe a line or scene was cut. This however is just a very small thing.
The final battle with Ivan Vanko could have been a smidge longer...
Happy Hogan! Tony's bodyguard and chauffeur! Now I don't blame Favreau for wanting to be in his own movie...I would in his position too. But the shear amount of shots he has awkwardly positioned himself in is at times distracting, if not annoying. On the plus side the fight scene between Happy Hogan and the security guard in the closing scenes was very funny and a wonderful inclusion.
All and All. Really really enjoyed this film, fair play Favreau you created another great Iron Man film, lets hope the makers of the eventual Avengers movies can maintain your high standard and sensibilities.
8.5 out of 10